Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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The Cardigans

  • Life [Minty Fresh, 1996] Choice Cuts
  • First Band on the Moon [Mercury, 1996] B+
  • Gran Turismo [Stockholm/Mercury, 1998] *
  • Long Gone Before Daylight [Koch, 2004] *

Consumer Guide Reviews:

Life [Minty Fresh, 1996]
"Hey! Get Out of My Way"; "Daddy's Car"; "Sabbath Bloody Sabbath" Choice Cuts

First Band on the Moon [Mercury, 1996]
Popper-than-thou aggregation backs cute blonde for fun and profit. Think Blondie. They're Swedish. Think Abba. They're Euroalt-by-default. Think, er, Bettie Serveert. Only nowadays, anythinger-than-thou commits you to that extra mile, so that these reformed metalheads make their Beatle move a la Black Velvet Flag. And since metalheads can really, how you say it, play their axes, they also score some funny Black Sabbath covers. As for the blonde, alt types were calling her dark even back when she was imitating a love doll. Me, I prefer her now that she's imitating a cynical young woman--especially since the metalheads provide dissonances suitable to her self-critical rhetoric, which greatly smartens their flute and tinkle. B+

Gran Turismo [Stockholm/Mercury, 1998]
With a hit on their résumé, they're free to be the depressed Swedes they always were ("Paralyzed," "Do You Believe"). *

Long Gone Before Daylight [Koch, 2004]
She'll love you as long as the chorus lasts, and if you're good the verse too--a period that lengthens as she gets older ("For What It's Worth," "And Then You Kissed Me"). *

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